hyperactive brain image

ADHD Management & Alternative Treatments

As it is International ADHD AWARENESS Month – let’s kick off this week with a topic close to my heart, as I too have a son that falls within the Autism spectrum. Many moons ago when he was little and struggling to meet his developmental milestones and causing havoc in his nursery school, we began the long & torturous road to trying to find out what was going on in his little mind & body…. The first LABLE was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The long road included test after test, therapy session after therapy session, Occupational Speech you name it and of course the dreaded DRUG REGIME. We tried quite a few. I might add this did very little for him if anything at times made it worse… So here is an little input from my side as a mother and nurse, with many years of research and actually being in the trenches with other parents and teachers…. Here’s my 5 cents worth this week:

According to the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa ADHASA), ADHD is understood to appear in 10% of the South African population and is found in all ethnic and socio-economic clusters.

ADHD Little girl image

Imagine what it would be like to realise that your child:

  • acts and thinks differently
  • says and does whatever comes to mind
  • Constantly interrupts while they are talking.

Imagine what it would be like to learn from his teacher that your child:

  •  is ‘rude and disruptive’
  • not capable of paying attention or following simple instructions in the classroom.

The frightening realisation that your child’s schooling career might be in jeopardy could drive you into the arms of a doctor. And when you take your child there, instead of a comprehensive medical assessment and blood tests, you may end up having a conversation about your child’s behaviour, and, after a few minutes, you could leave with an Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis coupled with a prescription. You can bet that there’s a pharmaceutical solution offered up as a standard reactionary medical response.

I am not suggesting that some kids do or don’t have ADHD or that some kids might not actually be served well to take a medication. As a mother & practicing integrative nurse dealing with this issue, it’s clear that a small percentage of children will in fact do better in terms of socialization and academic performance when they are appropriately medicated. But the notion that we should accept the idea that medications should be given to all those who “act out” of the conventional mold in the academic measurement system….should be challenged on scientific, medical, and compassionate grounds.

Here’s the checklist of what I believe should happen before children get medication:

“CUT THE SUGAR!!!”

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  1. Check for gluten sensitivity, which has been associated with attention issues. Going gluten-free can absolutely lead to remarkable changes in a child’s behaviour.
  2. Add a supplement containing the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
  3. Add a wide spectrum probiotic.
  4. Increase dietary fat while substantially reducing sugar and carbs. Healthful sources for brain-friendly fats include olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, wild fish, and avocado.
  5. Ensure your child is getting adequate exercise, at least 45minutes to a full hour each day.
  6. ChecVitamin D status and consider supplementing to bring the vitamin D blood level to the middle of the “normal range.”
  7. Reduce exposure to overstimulation – Limit the time spent watching TV and playing Computer Games
  8. Watch the overall use of body care products and household cleaning agents which can attribute to increasing body toxin levels.

Some may even have shown signs if Lactose intolerance as a baby…. So this too is often an early warning sign that there are some issues with an imbalanced GUT biome.

The implementation of the above protocol & supplementation for a few months will soon reveal signs of improvement in your child’s behaviour and concentration. In some cases, I would recommend we take it a step further and implement the GAPS protocol for a healing diet proven to be effective in the treatment of ADHD & AUTISTIC SPECTRUM.

At BALANCED HEALING, the approach is individual and focused. We utilize the dietary and natural supplementation avenues with some herbal remedies alongside the use of Bach Flower Remedies as well as Auricular acupuncture / pressure point therapy, while functioning within a reputable and professional referral base as and when other therapies are required or indicated.

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